Some 'Emerging Ethical Dilemmas' Already Here

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The John J. Reilly Center for Science Technology and Values is located in Geddes Hall on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The John J. Reilly Center for Science Technology and Values is located in Geddes Hall on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

An annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology has been released by the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame. It includes robotic clergy, a crime reporting app and facial recognition technology that could read emotions.

A team of students in a "Man and Machine: Humanity, Technology, and the Future" course through the Reilly Center's Science, Technology, and Values Program came up with the list. This year's entries include:

  • Helix - A digital app store designed to help you read your genome.
  • The Robot Priest - BlessU-2 and Pepper are the first robot priest and monk, respectively. 
  • Emotion-Sensing Facial Recognition - Optimizing retail experiences by assessing your reactions.
  • Ransomware - Holding data hostage until you pay up, whether you're an individual or a large corporation. 
  • The Textalyzer - A new tool in the battle against texting and driving that tells police if you were on your phone before an accident.
  • Social Credit Systems - China will debut theirs in 2020, but do we already live in a world where online reputation is king? 
  • Google Clips - This little camera will watch you all day and capture your most picturesque moments. 
  • Sentencing Software - There are already Americans being sentenced with the help of a mysterious algorithm.
  • The Rise of Robot Friendship - Can we create a chat bot out of our loved ones' old texts and social media posts? 
  • The Citizen App - Live crime reporting may lead to vigilante justice.

The Reilly Center says the list aims to "get people thinking about the ethics of potentially controversial technology." You can connect to details about the list by clicking here.

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